Indian English Literature Essay

730 Words Feb 1st, 2013 3 Pages
History of English language and literature in India starts with the advent of East India Company in India. It all started in the summers of 1608 when Emperor Jahangir, in the courts of Moguls, welcomed Captain William Hawkins, Commander of British Naval Expedition Hector. It was India's first tryst with an Englishman and English. Jahangir later allowed Britain to open a permanent port and factory on the special request of King James IV that was conveyed by his ambassador Sir Thomas Roe. English were here to stay.

As East India Company spread its wing in southern peninsula, English language started to get newer pockets of influence. But it was still time for the first English book to capitalize. Late 17th century saw the coming of
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This group consisted likes of Rudyard Kipling, Jim Corbett and George Orwell among others. Books such as Kim, The Jungle Book, 1984, Animal Farm and The man-eaters of Kumaon etc were liked and read all over the English-speaking world. In fact, some of the writings of that era are still considered to be the masterpieces of English Literature. In those periods, natives were represented by the likes of Rabindra Nath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu. In fact, Geetanjali helped Tagore win Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 1913.

There was a lull for more than 3 decades when India was passing through the era of aspiration and reconstruction. Some sporadic works such as 'A Passage to India' by E M Foster, 'The Wonder that was India' by E L. Basham and ' Autobiography of an unknown Indian' by Nirad C Chaudhuri though set the stage on fire but were unsuccessful in catalyzing and explosion.

It was in late seventies that a new breed of Convent, boarding school educated and elite class of novelists and writers started to come on block. The likes of Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Amitabh Ghosh and Dominique Lepierre set the literature world on fire. Rushdie' s ' Midnight Children' won Booker in 1981 and send the message loud and clear that Indians are here to stay. Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai repeated the feat when they won Man Booker in the year 1997 and 2006 respectively. In the mean time, a new crop of

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